Sunday, October 30, 2011

Superman Returns - Bryan Singer

Back in the late 70s - early 80s, Christopher Reeve starred 4 Superman movies. The first two of them were OK, and the other ones are currently used as examples of everything a director must not do in a movie set.

In 2005, Warner decided to retake the Superman saga. One year later, amid a great promoting campaign, Superman Returns started being exhibited across the World. The movie starts five years after the second of the Reeve movies. That's probably the biggest problem of this movie: trying to emulate Reeve. Reeve was a great actor, but if you ask a random movie watcher, she will likely remember him as Superman, and that's it. And the reality is that nobody has been as good as Reeve in the role of Superman / Clark Kent. Brandon Routh could only aspire to be as good as Reeve, which he is far from accomplishing: he barely speaks, he's not dumb enough when he plays Clark Kent, and he's not handsome enough. If you watch the movie carefully, the hero of the movie is Lois Lane's boyfriend, who, funnily enough, is played by the actor who represents Cyclops in the X-Men movies...

The special effects are predictable, and the movie doesn't offer enough action to attract male teenagers full of testosterone or sci-fi nerds.

The other problem is that Superman is probably dated and has probably become a niche hero. He's one of the oldest superheros and has never been reinvented. What do I mean by reinvented¿  Think about Adam West's Batman. Now think about Chris Nolan's Batman. Got it¿ Since the late 1930's, Superman has been the same: a nerd journalist who is actually the most powerful living being in Earth. Probably Superman can't be reinvented for structural reasons: any fight against humans will be tilted in his favor. DC is trying to reinvent Superman (actually, it's trying to reinvent all its superheros); let's see if they are successful.

Finally, the original Superman movies were a metaphor of the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. With the US fighting two unpopular wars, Superman Returns is no metaphor and has no coherent message. Superman Returns is nothing else than a mirror image of a superpower that tries to recycle old ghosts while wasting the golden opportunity of creating a new World order.

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